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The Relevance of Human Factor in Aviation

 

human-factors-in-aviationWhen you decide that you want to fly for the rest of your life, you start dreaming of your life as a pilot.

Flying who knows where, always travelling, having more free time, earning a load of money and feeling free to live the life you always wanted.

It’s good to be motivated, but then you must face reality. When you become a pilot things are not even close to what you dreamed.

Being a pilot is all about having the proper training and this is one of the most important aspects of Flight Safety.

Pilot training is always what saves lives. Part of this training is understanding that it is not only about pushing the throttle and turning some nobs.

Part of the training is to understand how relevant your role is (as a pilot) in this complex world of Flight Safety.

Most of the incidents that aviation faces today, are caused by human error. In the past, incidents were more related to technical issues, whereas nowadays it is “the Human” aspect of aviation that creates problems.

We cannot eliminate human beings from the cockpit, from maintenance, from tower controls or safety supervisors, we can only improve their role.

This is the relevance that human factor has on aviation, it cannot be substituted, at least not now.

Human Factors is also a science. It is part of Aviation Psychology and many psychologists and flight safety experts are studying the effect of human factors in aviation.

You must have heard about CRM – Crew Resource Management, if you haven’t, please let me know in the comments and I will be glad to tell you what it’s all about.

Well, CRM is the outcome of a series of studies done in Human Factors and it considers purely “Human” aspects that have a very strong effect on pilot’s performance.

For example: in the past, some incidents were caused by the fact that there was too much “distance” between the captain and the first officer. Not physical distance, but power distance.

This attitude came from the military world, where the simple soldier couldn’t speak to the super general. In the cockpit, the same thing was happening. The “simple” co-pilot could not tell to the “super captain” that he was making a mistake.

Even if the co-pilot understood the mistake and what were the tragic consequences, he still preferred to keep quiet and basically die.

Today all of this does not exist anymore in aviation (we hope so at least). Today CRM puts everybody at the same level and co-pilot and captain work in perfect symbiosis.

This is just an example of how relevant Human Factors is in aviation and how it is the most important part of pilot training.

In the next post’s, I will give you more details on incidents caused by poor Human Factors management.

Keep following!

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